Ravenswood Devilette basketball head coach sees good deal of potential in her 2021-22 team

Mark Martin
Special to Jackson Newspapers

As the newest of basketball seasons opened in early December, Ravenswood head coach Cara Williams knew navigating without a player like Annie Hunt wouldn’t be easy.

Hunt was a Class AA First Team All-State selection and is now playing at Wheeling University.

But as time marches on, Williams feels her 2021-22 squad has plenty of potential for another great season.

Ravenswood is coming off a state tournament appearance a year ago, where they lost to Parkersburg Catholic in the opening round.

“We’ve played pretty well,” said Williams, a former Ravenswood basketball and track and field performer. “The Little Kanawha Conference is always tough. We are just at this moment trying to put it all together. The young ones just have to appreciate each game in the LKC and learn how tough it can be.

“This is a great young group with a lot of talent. They have a lot of heart.”

Ravenswood Devilette head girls basketball coach Cara Williams looks on during last season's state tournament game with Parkersburg Catholic. Williams is aiming for a return to Charleston in 2022.

Seniors on this year’s team include Libby Hall.

“She plays the 3 and the 4 positions. She is a good long-range threat. She has really worked on her ball handling. She is able to drive to the basket. She can really stretch the defenses.”

Another member of the senior class is Lindsey Carroll.

“She has come in this year with a different mindset. I think it hit her that this is the last go-round. She wants to make the best of it. She has been vocal in practices. She has a really good outside shot. She’s super strong. I think this year she finally realizes she can do it.”

Senior Lydia Alfred has suffered through an assortment of injuries throughout her career.

“She hurt her knee early on and had been out. She was actually in the Roane game. We’d love to get her at full-force. She will add so much depth. She’s quick. She’s a good ball handler. She’s aggressive and hustles.”

Sami Maxson is part of the junior class.

“She’s been dealing with a knee issue. She’s a big part of our rotation. She’s just trying to work back into game shape. She’s starting to get more aggressive. She’s just so nice. But she’s changed her mindset a bit and it has been a nice surprise.”

Evelyn Stoneman is another junior.

“She’ll do anything you ask her to do. She has come a long way offensively. Defensively, she is very aggressive.”

The sophomore class is headed up by point guard Emily Wratchford.

“She is so even keel and runs the show for us. She has a calming presence on offense. She’s long and quick. She knows how to get to the rim. It is very important to have her at that position.”

Hadleigh McGoskey is back for her second season in a Devilette uniform.

“She is highly-motivated. She has good quickness. She has great driving ability to the basket and a nice floater.”

Maci Mosser is back as well after a solid freshman season.

“She’s super aggressive. She’s our best defender. She will hound an offensive player to death. Her ball handling has improved.”

Brooklyn Adams is another sophomore seeing action.

“She has a huge upside. As she learns the game she is only going to get better and better.

Freshman Riley Street is also getting some varsity minutes.

The number of players out has increased and Williams feels a lot of it is due to last season’s success.

“It’s been a few years since we had a full junior varsity team,” she said.

“If you have somebody get hurt or is sick it can really hurt. Our numbers are good. We will get several from the middle school next year. We look to keep it rolling.”

Brooke Meadows, Miranda Barker and Avery Cole are other sophomore members of this year’s team.

Macy Casto, Lauren Roush, Kadi Price, Zoie Meadows, Kensie Walters and Addison Smith round out the freshmen class.

“Not having that many players has hurt us in the past. With no junior varsity team it kills the development of younger players.”

Williams headed into the season with 109 career victories as Ravenswood’s head coach.

Butch Varney, who led Ravenswood to a state title in 1982, is her assistant.

Ravenswood opened the season with a loss to Ripley, 52-31.

The Devilettes then produced back-to-back victories over Wirt County, 51-34, and Wahama, 53-16.

Losses were followed to Greenup County, Kentucky in a game played at Wayne High School, 51-48, and Parkersburg Catholic, 66-44.

Ravenswood rebounded to defeat Williamstown, 33-30, before falling to Roane County, 46-35.

Williams has been pleased with several games this season, especially the contest with Greenup.

“We gave up a lot of size in that game. We were down 10 but came back in the second half to take the lead.”

The Catholic loss also showed promise.

“We had our moments against Catholic. I was pleased with part of the game. But you have to play a whole game to beat Catholic.”

Later this season, Ravenswood will have a non-conference game with Ohio power Fort Frye.

“I needed a game and we picked them up. Good competition is always good. It makes you better. And that’s what we are striving for this season — get better.”

Which will hopefully lead to another trip to the state tournament in Charleston.